Dr. Randy M. Russell creates simulations and games for use in STEM education. He also develops and facilitates professional development workshops for science and engineering educators. Dr. Russell also creates educational animations and interactive multimedia, and has done some work with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for educational uses.
Dr. Russell’s most recent full-time position was at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), where he developed online resources as part of the K-12 and public outreach group (currently called the UCAR Center for Science Education) from 2003 through 2019.
His main interests involve the use of technology in science and engineering education. He is especially keen on developing computer-based games, interactive simulations, and virtual labs for science education. He also develops and presents web sites, online courses, webinars, and interactive exhibits for museum-like settings. He also develops and presents professional development workshops for teachers. When it was housed at UCAR, he developed content for the Windows to the Universe web site.
Dr. Russell’s professional background is in space science, educational technology, and the development of interactive multimedia software. He received his B.S. in astrophysics from Michigan State University in 1981; his Master’s in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland in 1988; and his Ph.D. in educational systems development from Michigan State in 1998. His Ph.D. dissertation topic was “World Wide Web Site Visitor Studies Techniques Using Server Log File Data”.
He worked briefly as a computer programmer/analyst at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 1987-1988 in support of satellite communications. For several years (1990-1996), he helped research and develop new multimedia software technologies at the Communications Technology Lab at Michigan State. One of his main projects there was the development of the Microbe Zoo web site and CD-ROM, which provides insights into the worlds of microbiology to “kids of all ages”. He helped develop numerous online courses, mostly related to science and engineering topics, while working for Michigan State’s Virtual University from 1997-2001. In 2001-2002 he worked for TERC developing web-based interactives about Earth Science for their Exploring Earth project, a companion web site to the high school textbook of the same name.
Randy is a hardcore, four-season bicycle commuter and a two-time world champion Ultimate Frisbee player. He likes to camp and hike and ski and generally get outside a lot.